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Environment agency announce drought status for West Midlands




The West Midlands has today been announced as the most recent area to move into drought status, meaning ten of the Environment Agency’s 14 areas are now in drought. Other areas classed as being in ‘prolonged dry weather’ include Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire; Wessex; and the North East. The only area now at ‘normal water resource’ status is Cumbria and Lancashire.

The recent rainfall in some parts of the country is not enough to replenish rivers, groundwater or reservoirs to normal levels. That will require a return to sustained average or above average rainfall over the coming months. Until - and unless - that happens, many areas will remain in drought.

EA Chief Executive Sir James Bevan said:

Water pressures on wildlife and the environment remain high and despite recent rainfall and the pause in the hot dry weather, we must continue to manage water wisely.

Both for the coming year and, with the impact of climate change, for the coming decade, a complete gear change is needed for how water companies and all water users, from farmers to households, think about how they use water and understand its fundamental value.

This summer should be a wake-up call for how the nation prepares for weather extremes and how we make the very best use of our water resources. Our National Framework for Water Resources sets out clearly what we are doing in the face of a new normal for water and we are determined to drive that forward.

There is no threat to essential water supplies. The water companies have confirmed that they have and will continue to have enough water for all essential household and business needs.

There is however a need to continue to manage water resources carefully over the coming weeks and months to ensure that the needs of the public, farmers and industry, and nature and wildlife are met. All participants agreed that they would continue to work together to do so.

The water companies are responsible for providing water to their customers, ensuring that public water supply is secure, and for maintaining supplies whilst minimising environmental impact. They will:

  • continue to implement their drought plans proactively

  • seek to maintain or where necessary increase water availability

  • reduce water loss by stepping up work to fix leaks

  • help their customers use less water

  • take other measures to ensure there is enough water for essential supplies.


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